Deskless workers are the troops in every organization—bravely showing up in the field day after day ready to face the unknown.
From GPs to delivery drivers, technicians, electricians, physiotherapists and mental health workers—these are faces of the frontline making a real difference to the lives of people in our communities.
After talking with a multitude of frontline workers here at Skedulo, we’ve had the privilege of finding out what bugs them most while they’re out and about trying to do their work.
Here are the top 10 pet peeves we’ve uncovered plaguing frontline workers in all industries…
1. When nippy dogs roam free
There’s almost nothing more terrifying for a frontline worker than showing up at a property, only to find a nervous Doberman waiting at the gate.
For some workers, roaming dogs inside the house can also cause problems. For example, a dog could misinterpret what’s happening during a physiotherapy session and attack the therapist because they believe the customer is being hurt.
The solution? A quick text when you’re on your way, with a friendly reminder to secure any animals.
2. When no one answers the door
Being met by complete silence when you knock on a customer’s door is extremely frustrating for frontline workers.
While occasionally a customer may forget their appointment, they may also be in the bathroom or out in the backyard if they’re unsure what time to expect you.
The solution? Automated appointment reminders, with a quick text to say when you’re on your way.
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3. When you can’t find your way and every street name sounds the same
Getting lost on your way to a job is super frustrating—especially if you find yourself surrounded by interesting street names.
In Canada, for example, there are some suburbs where street names are almost identical (Wattle Crescent, Wattle Drive, Wattle Street and Wattle Circuit). There are others that are just plain funny (This Street, That Street and The Other Street in Nova Scotia), but do little to help you find your way.
The solution? Make sure you have the correct address, then use a nav to help you find your way.
4. When getting answers from the office takes more than a minute
Ever been left standing around awkwardly at a customer’s house waiting for a receipt email from head office? Or perhaps you needed a question answered before any work could start, and you lost up to an hour waiting for a response.
Not being able to do your job properly, and in front of a customer, is frustrating and inefficient—and one of the biggest pet peeves for the frontline workers we’ve talked to over the years.
The solution? Instant messaging and digitized processes that streamline communications and information sharing.
5. When you’re held up on a job but worried about checking your emails
For frontline workers who rely on a “first come, first served” allocation of new jobs, getting tied up with a customer for hours generally means you’re also worried about missing out on new jobs.
This makes it difficult to give your full attention to the customer you’re with, which can also lead to a less than ideal customer experience.
The solution? Effective job allocation and scheduling that instantly matches the right staff with the right jobs.
6. When you arrive somewhere creepy and realise no one knows you’re there
Frontline workers venture into new suburbs, streets and communities every day without knowing much about who they are going to see.
What’s most disturbing is that sometimes no one knows they are there. Or perhaps they know, but wouldn’t suspect any problems until that person didn’t show up for work the next day.
The solution? 1-click “check-in” and “check-out” processes for field staff on their smartphones, with emergency alerts if there’s an issue.
7. When getting to site means going 20 minutes out of your way to check in
Site workers who must manually check in at a site office before making their way to a job site waste countless hours every year on unnecessary travel.
Given that they aren’t usually paid for this time, resentment can build and cause them to seek out jobs with companies that have far more efficient systems.
The solution? Automated on site check-ins and check-outs providing a seamless experience for workers and a digital ledger of hours’ worked.
8. When loose paperwork stacked 9-inches high makes you crazy
Ever tried to complete a 2-page form in the back of a van when it’s windy and raining? Most of us would never even attempt it, but for some frontline workers it’s another inconvenient part of their everyday.
It’s also inconvenient for managers, who tell us lost paperwork is a serious issue that often leads to angry customer calls at the end of a day.
The solution? A completely digital process where customer forms can be completed, signed and stored within the customer’s digital file—accessible via the worker’s smartphone.
9. When scheduling a customer appointment takes 10 emails
Great, let’s do it! How about this time? No? This time? No? This time? No!?
This back and forth email chain is all too common for frontline workers trying to schedule customer appointments. Whether the customer is desperate for the appointment or not, the ability to find a gap in people’s increasingly busy schedules is difficult at the best of times.
The solution? Self-service customer appointment bookings with automated appointment reminders.
10. When you can’t plan your life because you don’t know your schedule
This has to be the most common pet peeve for frontline workers in countless industries.
Often, workers find out via email the night before they need to attend to a job, which makes it near impossible to plan their personal schedules.
The solution? Full oversight and visibility of worker schedules, with the ability to schedule weeks or months in advance.
Helping frontline workers get the experience they want
Since developing Skedulo, we’ve been working hard to address every pet peeve frontline workers face – so they can focus on what they do best and provide a great customer experience.
Here are 10 features of Skedulo that frontline workers say they love:
- Pre-scheduling with job details available weeks or months in advance
- Self-service customer bookings
- Automatic customer notifications when they’re on their way
- Access to all job information in one place
- Instant messaging for rapid answers to questions
- On site check-in and check-out feature
- One-click “Help” button if something goes wrong
- In-built navigation with the fastest route
- Digital forms to eliminate loose paperwork
- Having everything they need on their smartphone in their pocket